By Doyinsola Oladipo
(Reuters) – A U.S. donation of more than 1.4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Afghanistan on Friday, the first of two shipments this month, the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said in a statement.
A second shipment of vaccines donated by the United States through the COVAX global sharing program will bring the total to 3.3 million doses, UNICEF said. The U.S. vaccine donations come as U.S. military forces withdraw from Afghanistan, ending a 20-year war in the country.
The deliveries are part of President Joe Biden’s pledge to share 80 million vaccine doses globally, most through COVAX, which is run by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
“These vaccines arrive at a critical time for Afghanistan as the country faces a difficult surge in COVID-19 infections,” said UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, Hervé Ludovic De Lys.
Over 1,200 new infections were reported in Afghanistan on July 8th down from a record peak of 1,853 new cases on June 21st, according to the Reuters COVID-19 tracker. Less than four percent of the Afghan population is vaccinated, UNICEF said.
“As many countries face vaccine supply challenges, the dose-sharing mechanism is a rapid way to close the immediate supply gap,” De Lys said. “I hope that other governments will step up and share their doses, supplies and therapeutics to protect those most in need.”
(Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo, editing by Michelle Nichols and David Gregorio)
By Kami Klein
Pastor Jim and Lori Bakker left today for the Houston area to help local churches struggling to keep up with the needs from the disaster left behind from Hurricane Harvey. Jim and Lori, along with The Jim Bakker Show team will be there to feed, comfort and pray with those who have lost so much and are struggling to rebuild. They will witness with you scenes that are left from this devastating storm, and share with you the stories of heroism, courage and the humanity of the people that have been affected by this tragic event.
Yesterday, a truck loaded full with pallets of food buckets, water purification products, Bibles and other survival supplies left Morningside bound for Houston. In an email from Pastor Jim he wrote,
“Never before have you been “the hands and feet of Jesus” as much as this moment. Because you have been prepared and have prepared to share with others, we are able to make this trip possible.
We appreciate all you do for this Ministry and for allowing us to represent you to thousands of hurting people in need. We could not be doing this without you.
Please continue to pray for us in our journey. Pray for those still in harm’s way. And, most importantly, continue to pray that each one will experience the love of Jesus through us to His glory. ”
We will be sharing what is happening in Houston directly from our team as they work alongside these true survivors that have shown the world what being a Christian and an American is all about. Please keep them in your prayers!
Morningside and The Jim Bakker Show team ready to leave for Houston.
We are now asking for your help by donating funds towards supporting and helping in areas where there is the greatest need.
The people of Houston and the gulf coast are only at the beginning of an incredibly daunting challenge as they rebuild their lives. Now is the time to remember that we are all part of God’s family.
Now is the time for compassion! Now is the time to act!
Follow this link to our slideshow that will be updated throughout our team’s time in Texas!
Please donate today!
On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced to the United Nations General Assembly that his country would provide more money and troops to aid U.N. peacekeeping efforts.
He said that 8,000 troops would be assigned as a U.N. permanent peacekeeping force. Additionally, China would give $100 million to the African Union, so an immediate response unit could be created and capable of responding to emergencies. Finally, Xi stated that China would donate $1 billion – over the next 10 years – to the United Nations as a “peace and development fund.”
China was among other world leaders from more than 50 countries who pledged equipment and training for U.N. peacekeeping missions as well as roughly 40,000 police and troops.
President Xi Jinping also announced that China would also donate a helicopter squad for African peacekeeping operations.
Bruce Jones, vice president for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution and an expert on peacekeeping, state that China’s contributions would be significant, especially the 8,000 police officers.
“Police is one of the most glaring gaps in the United Nations peacekeeping operations,” he said. “This is an important step in creating a dedicated reserve capacity.”
Xi’s pledges for peacekeeping operations comes amid growing concerns over China’s military might and territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific region. Earlier in his address to the General Assembly, Xi tried to ease the concerns over his country’s growing influence as a threat.
“We are committed to peaceful development. No matter how the international landscape may evolve and how strong China may become, China will never pursue hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence,” he said.
A woman who lost her husband to suicide brought on by mental illness has parted with her biggest link to her late husband to try and help others.
Susan Futterman cried as her late husband’s 1967 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 sat in their garage for one of the last times. The car, one of only 250 ever made, was a passion of her husband’s until he was stricken with mental illness at age 58. Frederic Paroutaud lost his battle with mental illness just two months later when he committed suicide at the couple’s home.
“We really didn’t know there was an issue until April 2012, until he had what appeared to be a psychotic break,” Futterman said. “Things deteriorated pretty rapidly, and at some point he was diagnosed as bipolar.”
The car was auctioned over the weekend for $522,500.
Futterman gave every dollar from the sale to La Cheim Behavioral Health Services, a non-profit group seeking to help boost mental health care in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California.
“I think the staff is a very dedicated group of people really trying to serve an underserved community, and they’ve been operating on a shoestring,” Futterman said. “I’d like to contribute to something where I can see a difference being made.”
“I think it’s tremendously generous and redemptive. She’s turning a tragedy into something that provides healing for people,” Frances Raeside, La Cheim’s program director, told the Contra Costa Times. “She’s creating a legacy for a really creative and beautiful person. … It’s a great act of courage on Susan’s part, letting go of the car that’s sitting in her garage and was a constant reminder of her husband.”
A Missouri church is stepping up to help residents of Ferguson, Missouri whose businesses and homes were damaged or destroyed by looters in the wake of the Michael Brown situation.
The Episcopal Church said it will provide $40,000 in grants to help those in need.
“This joint effort helps restock food pantry shelves to feed the hungry today, but it also provides nutritional counseling and food preparation education for a more healthy future,” said Bishop Stacy Sauls. “… it helps local businesses get back on their feet, but it also partners with public and private groups to encourage entrepreneurship and sustainability; it provides a mechanism to deliver food and other assistance to shut-ins, but it does so by offering skills training to young adults and older youth that will help improve their lives for years to come.”
The Reverend Michael Dunnington of All Saints Episcopal Church told the Christian posts that he sees the grants helping multiple parts of the community.
“I think that this grant will go a long way to show the residents of Ferguson that the Episcopal Church cares about the immediate effects of the August troubles, and that we are interested in addressing longer-term needs in their community,” he told the Christian Post.
Dunnington added while protests are continuing in the town, they have been peaceful and not lead to further destruction.